Bai­ley gets called up by Fly­ers

Wil­liamsville na­tive ex­pected to sit tonight

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - By Lance Lysowski

Justin Bai­ley needed only 10 games away from Rochester to earn another call to the NHL.

Bai­ley, a 23-year-old Wil­liamsville na­tive traded by the Buf­falo Sabres last month, was re­called by the Philadel­phia Fly­ers on Sun­day morn­ing. The for­mer sec­ond-round draft pick had five goals among seven points in 10 games for Le­high Val­ley, the Fly­ers’ AHL af­fil­i­ate.

Bai­ley joined the Fly­ers for prac­tice Sun­day morn­ing, how­ever, in­terim coach Scott Gor­don told re­porters that Bai­ley will not play tonight against the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins. In­stead, Bai­ley was re­called as a pre­cau­tion and this gives him an op­por­tu­nity to learn the team’s sys­tem.

“I don’t think you ever ex­pect to get called up,” Bai­ley told re­porters fol­low­ing prac­tice Sun­day in Voorhees, N.J. “I think I put to­gether a cou­ple good games since I came over here. I was do­ing ev­ery­thing I could to earn my way up. I was pleas­antly sur­prised [to get called up] and happy and re­ally look­ing for­ward to the op­por­tu­nity.”

His ten­ure with the Sabres did not go as planned. On Jan. 17, Bai­ley, who was drafted 52nd over­all by Buf­falo in 2013, was traded for winger Tay­lor Leier af­ter scor­ing five goals with three as­sists in 52 ca­reer games with the Sabres. Leier, a 24-year-old for­mer fourth-round draft pick, has two goals and one as­sist in seven games with the Amerks.

Bai­ley had nine goals among 20 points in 37 games for Rochester at the time of the trade and was not on the verge of be­ing re­called to Buf­falo. He had eight points in 52 ca­reer games with the Sabres, in­clud­ing four with a mi­nus-2 rat­ing in 12 games last sea­son.

Fly­ers Gen­eral Man­ager Chuck Fletcher spoke highly of Bai­ley to re­porters Satur­day, adding that the team soon would make a de­ter­mi­na­tion if Bai­ley would join Philadel­phia for a play­off push. The Fly­ers (25-237) en­tered Sun­day six points back of the sec­ond wild-card play­off spot and four be­hind the Sabres.

The two teams will play in Philadel­phia on Feb. 26, though it is un­clear how long Bai­ley will be in a Fly­ers uni­form.

“I was look­ing for a change of scenery,” Bai­ley said. “I couldn’t be hap­pier that it was Philly. Its ob­vi­ously an or­ga­ni­za­tion that has a great his­tory, a place I’ve watched growingu­pasakid.”

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